Academic Ranking of World Universities

University of Limerick
English Name: University of Limerick
Region: Northern Europe
Country/Region: Ireland
Found Year: 1972
Address: Castletroy


Established in 1972, the University of Limerick (UL) is an independent, internationally focussed university with over 13,000 students and 1,400 staff. It is a young, energetic and enterprising university with a proud record of innovation in education and excellence in research and scholarship. Its mission is to be a distinctive, pioneering and connected university that shapes the future through educating and empowering people to meet the real challenges of tomorrow.

UL is recognised as possessing one of the most spectacular and environmentally sympathetic university campuses in the world. The campus is adorned by unrivalled sports and cultural facilities, including Ireland’s first Olympic-size swimming pool, an indoor sports arena, a boathouse with a state-of-the-art indoor rowing tank, the 1,100-seat University Concert Hall, the Irish Chamber Orchestra Building and the Irish World Academy with an impressive range of visual art including outdoor sculptures, the National Self-Portrait Collection of Ireland and the Water Colour Society of Ireland Collection. The UL campus is located 5km from Limerick City and 20km from Shannon International Airport.

UL has been named 'University of the Year 2015 in the Sunday Times Good University Guide. UL’s leading position in graduate employability, strong research commercialisation, the €52million Bernal Project in science and engineering and a rising academic performance were among the reasons for the award.

The campus is home to the Nexus Innovation Centre supporting spin-out activity in the region and is central to the UL Enterprise Corridor which hosts leading R&D companies including Johnson & Johnson. Adjacent to the University is the National Technology Park (NTP), Ireland's first science/ technology park (263 hectares), which is home to over 80 organisations employing over 3,000 people.

The research focus at UL is on research with consequences for economic and social benefit. This is characterised by the convergence of discrete disciplines working together to achieve fundamental breakthroughs whilst adopting a translational approach to ensure research results are translated more rapidly towards economic and social impacts for Ireland and beyond. UL is committed to research that will enable Ireland to transition towards a knowledge-based economy while supporting the societal implications of such transition.

UL’s research and knowledge transfer activities span all of its faculties and disciplines. The University values and supports the excellence of output and achievement by its research community across all of its research areas. At the same time, the University recognises that research areas need to be prioritised so that effective research infrastructure, supported by appropriate human and physical resources, can be developed. The following are the prioritised research areas where UL has critical mass and internationally recognised strengths:

Materials and Surface Science

Information & Communication Technologies


Applied Mathematical Sciences


Culture, Diversity and Social Change

Interdisciplinary research convergence and critical mass are further reflected through UL’s research institutes and centres. Research institutes represent the highest level of research infrastructure within the University, and provide focused support for research, both within faculties and across faculties. The three research institutes are:

Materials and Surface Science Institute (MSSI)

Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre

Stokes Research Institute

UL’s research excellence and leadership are demonstrated through the University’s role in several significant research projects, including the following:

Through the €52 million science and engineering Bernal Project, UL will make a significant contribution to Ireland’s national capability in the strategically important areas of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Energy research. The Bernal Project involves the recruitment of 10 world-leading professors, a start-up seed fund to support their teaching and research activity and the construction of a new advanced research building on campus. 

UL has launched a new research initiative driven by the concept of the measurable impact that research can have on industry, society and the wider community. The UL Research Impact initiative will highlight best practice among the UL research community with the guiding principle of pursuing excellent research that is measurable, achieved through collaboration and focused on the ultimate goal of delivering impact. As part of the launch of Research Impact, four best practice case studies were developed focussing on research that has been evidenced to deliver real impact. These include research in clinical therapies, public participation in politics, the landscape of multinational companies in Ireland, and the SFI-funded Synthesis and Solid State Pharmaceutical Centre (SSPC).

UL leads the SSPC centre that was awarded research funding of €40 million by SFI and industry to conduct world-leading research to make pharmaceutical manufacturing more efficient, cost effective, and environmentally sustainable. The centre is a unique collaboration between 17 companies and 8 academic institutions and will position Ireland as a global hub for pharmaceutical process innovation and advanced manufacturing.

UL hosts the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Centre (PMTC) which attracted investment of €5M over the next 5 years. This industry-focussed Centre will deliver advanced technology solutions to contemporary manufacturing issues currently challenging the Irish pharmaceutical sector. The aim of PMTC is to make Ireland the global hub of pharmaceutical process innovation and manufacturing and ultimately support an industry which directly employs over 25,000 people. 

UL leads the LERO – The Irish Software Engineering Research Centre that was awarded research funding of €40 million by SFI and industry to conduct research on the latest industry software challenges, enabling multinationals and SMEs in Ireland to thrive and maintain a competitive advantage, and will establish Lero as a world-class centre of software research excellence. Lero brings together leading software teams from Universities and Institutes of Technology in a coordinated centre of research excellence with a strong industry focus.

UL is part of the multi-partnered, multi-disciplinary Food for Health Ireland (FHI) centre that was awarded a €21m investment from Enterprise Ireland’s Technology Centre Programme. The FHI partners provide world-class science and dairy industry know-how in one research centre aimed at developing, manufacturing marketing and selling nutritional ingredients and functional food products to improve people's health and wellness.

UL hosts the Irish Centre for Composites Research (IComp), which was established under the Technology Centre initiative of Enterprise Ireland and the IDA and is based in the MSSI. UL co-hosts two further Technology Centres, namely the Technology Centre for Biorefining and Bioenergy and the Microelectronics Technology Centre.

In addition, UL is leading or partnering in numerous other research projects, both nationally and internationally. Examples of international projects led by UL include, among others, European Framework Programme projects on optimising medical and psychosocial primary care for migrants in Europe; cooling systems for concentrated solar power plants; and production of bioethanol from microalgae with low-cost scalable photo bioreactors.

Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities
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Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Broad Subject Fields
Broad Subject Fields 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Performance in Academic Ranking of World Universities by Subject Fields
Subject Fields 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
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